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Eligibility to File Bankruptcy

Posted by attorney Dwayne Farnsworth

Not everyone is eligible to file for bankruptcy. You cannot file a Chapter 7 bankruptcy and receive a discharge in that proceeding if you filed a previous bankruptcy proceeding that resulted in a discharge any time within 8 years before the filing of the new petition. You’re not eligible for relief in a Chapter 13 bankruptcy if the filing of the Chapter 13 bankruptcy is within 4 years of the filing of a Chapter 7 bankruptcy that resulted in a bankruptcy discharge.

There are a number of other eligibility issues. For example, one is not eligible to file a Chapter 7 bankruptcy if they have the present means, as calculated by the “means test", to repay a significant portion of their debts over a period of time. However, there is a “median income test" which would determine whether or not a debtor even needs to submit to the calculation under the means test standards. There are also limitations as to eligibility file bankruptcy if the debtor has willfully failed to abide by a court order in a case that was dismissed within 180 days prior to filing the current petition, or if there was a Voluntary Motion to Dismiss a previous bankruptcy case when there had been a creditor’s Motion to Lift the Automatic Stay in a previous case.

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